YD senior teacher Kat K. is a staple in our teacher trainings and retreats, imparting her deep insights into yoga to our teacher trainees, students, and all of us at Yoga District! Read her Teacher Feature to get your own glimpse of her vast knowledge.
What is your favorite style of class to teach, and why?
I love to teach Prana Vinyasa because I feel the focus on breath and energetic alignment that comes from the inside out is a very useful counterpose for a city that tends towards imposing things from the outside in.
Describe your personal circumstances or experiences that made you want to share yoga.
Yoga has been tremendously useful for me to participate more fully in my own life because it has taught me how to bring a greater amount of my attention into my present experience.
What advice do you have to others sharing or seeking to share yoga with others?
Share from your heart.
Please describe a challenging moment that you have experienced teaching, how you faced that challenge, and what you learned from it.
I have learned to assume less. Sometimes we start class and even though I continually cue students to not rush, sometimes a few still move very quickly, especially when lifting a leg from Adho Mukha Svanasana. When I first started teaching, my ego would get involved and I would assume that the students were choosing not to follow my instructions and I would simply give up trying to impart the practice of not rushing. Now I know that this rushing has probably very little to do with a willful disregard for my instructions. There could be many different reasons for quick movement – and I can’t know what it is like to be in someone else’s body. Perhaps, sometimes we need simply instructions on how not to rush and what slow movement looks and feels like! So now, when this happens I have us return to a more simple movement and we practice, as a group, moving slowly, with the beginning, middle, and end of the breath. Then we get to see what happens.
What pose or practice do you like to teach to help students feel empowered? To relieve stress? Please describe how you saw this practice work with an individual or group.
I love to teach students how to stand in a deliberate, empowered way. We start by shifting our weight from the heels of feet to the balls of the feet and back to notice the changing sensations in the soles of the feet that happens through the shift of weight. From this noticing, we stand, on purpose, starting by pressing evenly through the four corners of the feet. This deliberateness travels up the legs, through the torso, neck, and head and is accessible whenever we stand and notice that we have a choice in how we stand, both physically in our bodies, and in relation to others.
Describe a yoga posture, breath or meditation practice for which your students taught you a practical application.
Galavasana prep can be used to open your outer hips, put shoes on when you can’t sit down, and to balance in the shower as you pumice your feet.
How has sharing yoga affected you?
Sharing yoga and seeing how it transforms the people who practice it makes me happy 🙂
Could you describe any best practices in sharing yoga that you apply regularly in your classes?
I encourage students to authentically connect to their own experiences and to those around them.
What is your favorite thing to do around town?
Besides yoga, I love walking around our beautiful city.
What is your favorite thing about the DC yoga community?
The uplifting friendships that emerge out of it and/or come together to create it.
If you had to describe your life in the form of a yoga pose, which pose would it be?
Ardha Chandra Chapasana – My life feels like a sweet combination of play, balance, and openness.
How long have you been in DC?
I have been in DC for almost a decade!
YD is honored to have developed such a strong, uplifting association with Kat K. and to have her come together with us to create an even more dynamic yoga community here in DC!